Respect rivers and nature for future: Atul Kirloskar

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Pune, July 5, 2019 : A press conference was organized on Friday to announce details of ‘action taken’ during a month under Ramnadi Restoration Mission. Present on the occasion were Madhav Chandrachud (Chairman, KVIFF), Virendra Chitrav (Festival Director), Anil Gaikwad (Vasundhara Swatchata Abhiyan), Shailaja Deshpande (Jivitnadi), Dr. Sachin Punekar (Biospheres), Dr. Gurudas Nulkar (Ecological Society), Vaishali Patkar (Mission Ground Water), Jayprakash Paradkar (Paradkar Foundation), Shailendra Patel (Jaldevta Seva Abhiyaan), Ninad Patil (KOEL).

‘At present we are fighting with water problems but on the other hand we are destroying our rivers’, said Atul Kirloskar during closing remarks at ‘Train the Trainers’ workshop on 29th June at Kirloskar Institute of Advance Management Studies (KIAMS). He further said that for last 13 years, we are creating awareness and action through Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF). Apart from screening films, our aim is ‘to give back’ to the society by advocacy of environmental protection, honoring the experts and recognizing green policies. Young collegians can be a ‘spark ‘ and they can light the fire to educate the people for restoring our priceless rivers. Ramnadi is important for Pune city and with the knowledge and understanding Kirloskar Vasundhara Eco Rangers (KVER) will passionately strive to restore it to its former state.

Train The Trainers workshop was inaugurated at the hands of Gauri Kirloskar. Around 90 invitees from various colleges and organisations attended the session. Ramnadi experts Vinod Bodhankar (‘Sagar Mitra’), Shailaja Deshpande (‘Jivitnadi’), Dr. Gurudas Nulkar (Ecological Society), Dr. Swati Gole (Ecological Society), Dr. Sachin Punekar (Biospheres) and Anil Gaikwad (‘Vasundhara Swatchata Abhiyaan’)delivered lectures. Action plan for the year was discussed and decided during the workshop.

Prime Minister Hon. Narendra Modi recently declared the mission ‘Jan Shakti for Jal Shakti’. It’s a water conservation campaign. Rain water harvesting, restoration of traditional water bodies, water shade development, reuse and boar well recharge structures etc. will be the focus areas. Through Kirloskar Vasundhara, we have been initiating a number of programmes related to water. Prime Minister Modi’s announcement encourages us to put in more efforts in our mission.

‘Ramnadi Restoration Mission’ (RRM) was inaugurated on 4th June. During a month number of initiatives were taken and implemented successfully. Here is the journey of efforts in just about 30 days….

4th June: Inauguration

RRM was inaugurated on the eve of World Environment Day at the hands of Mayor Muktatai Tilak. Chief Guest of the function was R. R. Deshpande (MD & CEO- KOEL) and present on the occasion were MLA Medha Kulkarni and local ‘Sarpanch’, Corporators, ‘Gram Sevak’ of the region.

6th June: Restoration of Khatpewadi Lake started

Restoration of Khatpewadi lake was our main focus. Restoration design was created by Ketki Ghate and biodiversity angle was monitored by Dr. Sachin Punekar. Civil work was carried out in just 25 days and water sustaining capacity of the lake has been increased by around 25%. We received good cooperation from PMC, local gram panchayats and citizens. Theentire work was carried out without disturbing the biodiversity of the lake i.e. cleaning, reshaping the banks, creation of island and pathway etc. Local plants were restored and bird’s nests and eggs were left undisturbed.

8th June: Work at Mula-Ramnadi Confluence

Restoration of Mula-Ramnadi Confluence was anuphill task. This is a region of rich biodiversity. Our main task was removing silt, slopping the banks and cleaning the river stretch work. Around 1 km stretch has been completed till date.

14th June: Interaction with public representatives

RRM, initiated by Kirloskar Vasundhara, is founded by renowned 12 environmental organisations and in association with 40 colleges, organisations and ‘K’ group companies. We believe that role of Central Government, State Government, PMC and local authorities-representatives are equally important. In this regard, we have established continuous dialogue with public representatives. Aspecial meeting was organised with MLA Medha Kulkarni, which was chaired by Alpana Kirloskar. Medha Kulkarni has assured full cooperation from State Government.

16th June:Bhukum

‘Rameshwar Mandir’ has mythological and historical back ground. In fact some consider this region as the origin of Ramnadi. Once up on a time, there used to be a small lake and at present 3 wells are located ear the temple. Restoration of well has started and rejuvenation of old lake is in progress.

16th June: Cleaning Drive

Cleaning drive of Khatpewadi lake was carried out on 16th June. This was necessary because the lake was surrounded with old cloths, plastic and glass bottles and waste material of various festivals. Around 250 kg waste material was collected and sent for proper segregation and disposal. Employees from KOEL-KPCLand citizens participated enthusiastically.

21st June : PCMC Meeting

Around 25 environmental organisations from PCMC area gathered to understand Ramnadi Restoration Mission. At present all of them are working on Pavana river. Joint action plan will be drafted soon. The meeting was attended by prominent personalities from PCMC, which include Sanjay Kulkarni (Environmental Head), Pravin Ladkat (Head Water Supply), Hemant Watve ( MD & CEO -Wilo Mather & Platt), Dr. Vishwas Yevale (Jaldindi) etc.

26th June: Testing of Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

Dissolve Oxygen (DO) level indicates river’s status. 8 ppm DO level represents healthy river. It can only be achieved by removing all the solid and liquid waste&pollutants from the river. Areas and DO levels are observed as below:

Khatpewadi lake (7.5 ppm), Bhukum well (5.5 ppm), Manas Lake (5.5ppm), Windmill bridge (0 ppm), Graveyard (1.5 ppm), Pashan Lake (3.5 ppm), Someshwar Mandir (0 ppm), Confluence (1.5 ppm). Where the pollution is more, DO is less. When the DO drop below 4 ppm, fish begin to die.